Restaurateur pleads guilty to tax evasion

By WILL ASTOR - 6/6/2014

An area restaurateur has pled guilty to tax evasion, federal officials said Thursday.

Konstantinos Votsis, owner of  Rookies Neighborhood Sports Bar in Gates, deleted sales records from the sports bar’s computer after learning a sales-tax audit of the establishment was slated, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Field said.

Data recovered from the sports bar’s point of sale computer showed Votsis failed to report $986,660 in income the business took in over 2006 and 2008, avoiding $308,062 in federal taxes.

Votsis, 63, is slated to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci in September.

A plea agreement filed with the Rochester federal court June 5 lays out sentencing guidelines that would see Votsis serve a prison term of 18 months to 24 months followed by one to three years supervised release.

Terms of the deal also call for him to pay a fine of $4,000 to $40,000. Votsis has agreed to forfeit $250,000, the filing states.

The charge the tavern owner pled to in a single-count information carries a five-year maximum prison term and a maximum $616,124 fine. If Geraci agrees to a plea deal and Votsis violates its terms, he could end up serving more than the maximum sentence, the plea agreement states.

Votsis was separately targeted by federal prosecutors last year in a civil forfeiture action aiming to seize a building at 2235 Buffalo Road that houses Pixley's Family Restaurant in Gates and a private home at 15 Saddleback Trail in Chili.

In addition to the properties, federal officials seized $200,000 in cash in an April 2013 raid, the forfeiture complaint states. 

The civil case remains open.

An attorney representing Votsis in both actions, Fairport lawyer Kevin Morabito, could not immediately be reached.
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